I’m not going to tell you about my first* or second** cassette, but the third – it has stuck with me all these years.
I was 10, running an errand with my parents at Caldor, when this caught my eye on the cassette rack. Maybe it was the red foil writing, the (strangely inverted) lightning photo, or the confidence that I could pay for it with three of my own crumpled dollar bills.
Image from this Ebay auction, in case you’re in the market for a cassette
When I popped it in my pink Sidestep radio and the first Black Sabbath song came on, my mind was blown. And three and half minutes into the song, I felt like I was listening to something from outer space. (The Alice Cooper song was even weirder. The irony is that both of these bands were probably on my parents’ record shelves, but children always have to discover things for themselves, right?)
I found myself wondering where this music came from. It was a different world than the insipid love songs on the radio. It made me feel uneasy, yet resonated within me like something I had heard a million times. I was hooked.
Every time I hear Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, I am ten years old again, kneeling on the green carpet of my bedroom, mind blown. It’s a feeling I’m happy to keep.